COVID-19: Q and A from operators

The Queensland Government has provided Tourism Noosa with answers to specific questions by operators, and general information including COVID-safe training.

Businesses are encouraged to liaise directly with Queensland Health on questions related to their specific business, via this online form.

A number of FAQs are also available online and can be found here.

Details on COVID-safe training for dining establishments is available on the TAFE website.

Details on other COVID safe training will be available on the COVID19 website soon.


QUESTION: Re Craft beer tours

When will they be able to start operating with the social distancing rules, and does this apply to transport? Social distancing can be arranged at the venues (i.e. breweries) but are tours allowed to transport guests who aren’t from the same household?

ANSWER:

The transport question will be addressed through the COVID Safe Plan for the tourism industry, currently being developed by QTIC and Mater Health.

Cellar doors and wineries: Advice from Queensland Health on whether wineries and cellar doors can operate while observing social distancing:

  • Cellar Doors are considered a non-essential retail provider. Under stage 1 restrictions you can re-open any business that is not required to be closed under the Non-essential Business, Activity and Undertaking Direction. These businesses must ensure they are observing social distancing requirements.
  • Under stage 1 restrictions wineries that operate a restaurant are able to open under the Non-essential Business, Activity and Undertaking Closure Direction (No. 10). The following rules apply for winery operators:
  • Must prepare and comply with a COVID SAFE checklist if providing seated dining
  • Takeaway and home delivery allowed
  • Seated dining for up to 10 customers at a time with no more than one customer per 4 square metres
  • No buffet style self-service
  • Alcohol may be provided in accordance with seated dining.

QUESTION: Re surf schools

Are surf schools currently allowed to hold surf lessons for groups of 10?

ANSWER:

Recreational hire items such as stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, boats, scooters and surfboards are not listed as non-essential businesses and are able to operate while adhering to social distancing and travel distance rules relevant to each stage of the restrictions (particularly Stage 1), as well as good hygiene practices, for clients.

Lessons (along the lines of personal training - instructor plus one) on recreational craft such as paddle boards, kayaks or surfboards are permitted while adhering to social distancing and travel distance rules relevant to each stage of the restrictions (particularly Stage 1), as well as good hygiene practices, for clients.

Boot camps up to 10 people are allowed to attend a boot camp with equipment disinfected between each use. Participants must maintain the 4 square metres per person (two big steps away from other people) and are encouraged to bring their own equipment where possible (e.g. gym mat). It needs to occur outside.


QUESTION: Re backpackers

What's the logic or science is behind limiting venues of 100, 200, 300, 400 square metres+ to 10 visitors at a time?

Why in a state with only 40 active cases (all in hospital or in isolation) and a population of over 5 million, is only outback Qld allowed to go to a pub and gather without limits?

Why, after months of knowing we'd turn the corner and start easing restrictions at some point, were they not ready to relax restrictions instead of stringing it out another week? Probably costing the state economy hundreds of millions of dollars and the final straw for many small businesses, but no explanation or rationale provided.

ANSWER:

Queries seeking evidence base for each Directive, and for seeking exemptions should be directed to Queensland Health (QH). QH has now established a separate process to respond directly to questions, clarifications and requests for exemptions from individuals and businesses in relation to the Directives. Link is found here: Submit your request online.


QUESTION: Re accommodation

Are there any specific guidelines for serving breakfast or communal dining/tea/coffee areas? Our B&B has 4 bedrooms with ensuites in the main homestead and a self-contained cabin. The homestead has a lounge/ dining area for guests where we provide breakfast. We can have up to 10 people in the dining area for breakfast which, due to social distancing, obviously won't be possible, even if we spilt the breakfast into two sittings. I assume we would have to do a thorough clean in between which is probably just not possible or worth our while, so we may just sell rooms without breakfast for the time being once things start to reopen.

We are also assuming we may need to pack away tea/coffee facilities in the dining area as again we could have up to 10 people coming in and out the dining room at any time, all touching the coffee machine/kettle etc. which may not be considered appropriate given the circumstances. Please let us know how many can we seat outside with social distancing. This needs clarification quickly.

ANSWER:

The Non-Essential Business Direction requires B&Bs to have a Health Management Plan in place for all communal facilities. Further information can be found here.

On the right hand side is a section called Accommodation/Transport Health Management Plan Template.

The number of people allowed in each stage is a maximum. All businesses must operate with the one person per four square meters adhered to appropriately, and includes everyone on the premises (staff and patrons). This includes common spaces like shared kitchens, laundries, and BBQ areas. For example, a business with a usable floor space of 20 square metres could accommodate a total of five people. Where stipulated, a business can submit a Covid-safe plan to request more people on the premises than allowed, which will be approved by health authorities.

The restrictions in relation to number of people allowed in each stage are per premises, regardless of whether there are indoor or outdoor areas.

Cleaning and COVID Safe

QTIC is currently engaged with health authorities to finalise a framework and recommendations for the safe return to business across the tourism industry. This work will include guidance around enhanced cleaning and hygiene practices to reduce the risk of infection and establishing and maintaining Covid-safe procedures. Exact timing for release is not specified but aiming for as soon as possible. Keep a lookout for this material.

Other advice:

Under the Framework for COVID-Safe Businesses all business in Queensland have obligations and responsibilities under Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) legislation to have a WHS Plan to manage COVID-19 and display the plan - this is an internal plan that does not need to be submitted for approval.

COVID Safe checklists are required only for businesses that provide dining-in for customers, such as restaurants, cafes, pubs, RSLs, clubs, and hotels (food courts remain closed) and beauty therapy services. If a business does not provide any of these services, you do not need to complete a COVID Safe Checklist. However, the business should still put in place their own plan to respond to COVID-19 as part of your obligations under Work Health & Safety Legislation.

The Commonwealth Government’s Safe Work Australia provides a central hub of WHS guidelines and tools that workplaces can use to form the basis of their management of health and safety risks posed by COVID-19.

The Cleaning to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and How to clean and disinfect your workplace resource provides instruction for the cleaning of soft or porous surfaces like fabric or leather e.g. fabric padded chairs, sofas, office chairs, doonas, and pillows etc.

If tourism businesses and holiday homes have questions quite specific to the operation of their business, hygiene and cleaning, they are encouraged to lodge a question via the Queensland Health website here.

Below are some support documents and links that you may find useful:


QUESTION: Re tourism and recreation experiences

What is the difference between tourism and recreation experience? Why are recreational experiences allowed and tourism experiences not allowed in Stage 1?

ANSWER:

A recreational experience is an activity that is engaged in for pleasure or for mental or physical health benefits such as motorcycle riding, jet skiing, boating, driving a motor vehicle, going for a picnic. It is an activity that forms part of your regular routine and that you do in your local region. For example if before restrictions were implemented if you used to go swimming at your local pool, that would be considered a recreational activity.

A tourism experience on the other hand is a paid or organised activity traditionally aimed at the tourism market. While locals may partake in tourism activities the primary audience for these are predominantly people who live outside of the region. Tourism experiences do not form part of your regular routine. Examples of tourism activities include charter fishing boats, 4WD experiences.

In Stage 1, it is critical to ensure that we are restricting travel, where possible, to reduce the spread of infection and keep our Queensland community safe. Decisions on tourism experiences within Queensland and interstate will occur at a later date, once we can see the impact of easing restrictions. It is critical we restrict travel, where possible, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep Queenslanders safe.

Please note that this doesn’t apply to hire services. As previously confirmed by Queensland Health.


QUESTION: Re hire services

Can businesses open to hire items such as stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, boats, scooters and surfboards for people to use for recreational purposes?

ANSWER:

These businesses are not listed as non-essential businesses and are able to operate while adhering to social distancing and good hygiene practices.